Real estate activity has been quickly shifting to online venues. Both home buyers and sellers are arming themselves with online knowledge and market research to make more sophisticated decisions than ever.
Real estate agencies that can become a part of this online conversation are more likely to see benefits in networking, lead generation and new client acquisition. Here are some suggestions for helping increase your web presence and the success of your digital marketing campaign:
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate for Both People and Search Engines
Search engines are looking for certain things when they index your site. Among them are easy-to-navigate layouts, informative copy and a contemporary site design. These qualities also happen to make your website more useful to the average person — no surprise since part of the goal of indexing criteria is to retrieve more relevant and valuable sites.
Review Google’s webmaster guidelines to ensure that your site meets the criteria for design and content. Pay particular attention to header elements, including your robots.txt file that allows Google’s bots to easily crawl your site pages.
Don’t Forget Mobile!
As part of Google’s efforts to increase the relevance and usefulness of sites, they have begun boosting the rankings of sites that have quality mobile-centric layouts. They encourage responsive design to ensure viewability on a range of devices from smartphones to tablets and beyond. You can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to get a quick overview of whether or not your site is up to modern standards.
Focusing on mobile-first has become a major strategy for real estate agents, and not just because of Google. More users are using mobile to browse real estate listings and hunt for local services. If your site can look great and be easily used on mobile, you can capture that market segment more easily. Emphasize colorful photos, simple navigation schemes and organized text groups.
Prioritize SEO with Everything You Do
Most online business for real estate agencies will come from referrals and localized search. For the latter category, you will want keyword-rich content pages that allow local queries to pull your site up quickly during searches.
Part of SEO is meeting the Google-friendly guidelines linked to above, including metadata, but you will also want lots of relevant, fresh content to increase your SEO capabilities. Start a blog that publishes informative pieces based on your area of expertise, which in this case means buying and selling houses as well as local market information.
Mix your information between evergreen content — i.e. “Kitchen Remodel Projects That Help Sell Houses” — along with local content like the best restaurants in your area. These posts not only improve SEO and capture relevant search queries, but they give your social media pages something to publish as well.
Consider Using Video
Speaking of social media, video content is an excellent way to increase engagement among people in your market. Video walkthroughs of homes are more interesting to people than listing photos, and they increase confidence in people who would want to use you to sell their home. Other forms of video content like town overviews are great ways to publish items that have a good chance of getting shares online. Shares and engagement improve visibility and networking while also improving SEO through backlinking — a win-win!
Beyond these general guidelines, each real estate agency will have to play to their individual strengths and the demands of their particular market. For a consultation on how your particular agency can get better online marketing results, visit our real estate marketing services page.